Wild back in series

The Associated Press

ST. PAUL, Minn.—Given a pair of quick goals by Patrick Sharp, the Dallas Stars pushed the cruise-control button.
Jason Pominville and the Minnesota Wild raced past them—and surged back into the series.
Pominville scored twice and added an assist as Minnesota roared back from an early two-goal deficit for a 5-3 victory last night that sliced the Stars’ advantage in the Western Conference quarter-finals to 2-1.
“That was a nice way to respond,” said Pominville, who scored with 47 seconds left in the second period to give the Wild their first post-season lead in seven games, a span of nearly 400 minutes, then added an empty-netter in the closing minutes.
Chris Porter put the Wild on the board in the final minute of the first period for their first even-strength goal of the series.
Erik Haula added a goal and an assist, while Mikko Koivu scored on a power play in the third period, as the Wild stopped a seven-game losing streak that started on March 31.
“We threw the kitchen sink at them,” Haula said.
Game 4 goes tomorrow night in Minnesota, with Game 5 back in Dallas on Friday night.
“It could be a heck of a series,” said Stars’ coach Lindy Ruff.
“The parity in this league is incredible and if you don’t play well, you’re not going to win,” he added.
Sharp scored 26 seconds into the game and again less than four minutes later for the Stars. But the Wild controlled the action after that and finished with a 25-17 shots advantage.
The Stars went nearly 50 minutes without scoring until the puck took a pinball-like path to the net off Colton Sceviour with 6:15 left to cut the lead to 4-3.
“They played with a lot of speed and scored some timely goals,” noted Sharp.
“You could tell that they fed off the energy of their fans.
“It was a fun game to be a part of, so we’ll take what we can as far as positives from this game,” he added.
Sharp was uncovered in the slot when he converted a mid-air tip of Alex Goligoski’s shot into a crowd-silencing score, with many of the customers not yet settled in their seats.
The quiet hung in the arena air when Sharp, the 14-year veteran in his first season with the Stars, turned a breakaway into a 2-0 lead with his low shot that slipped under goalie Devan Dubnyk’s glove.
The Wild needed a few minutes to recover, but by the second half of the first period they were in clear control.
“That should give us a lot of confidence going forward,” Dubnyk said.
“If we play like that, we have a real good shot.”
Elsewhere, Washington dumped Philadelphia 6-1 to lead that series 3-0 while L.A. edged San Jose 2-1 (OT) to trail 2-1.